Carrie's cut short from telling Will her plan when a call comes in from Noah, asking to see her immediately. After meeting her at Java, Noah blindfolds her, promising the surprise of a lifetime. As they drive up the driveway to the new house, Carrie unmasks herself and stands doe eyed in front of the door. Noah smiles that he bought the house, intending that she might room with him once she moves out of Barbara's. Carrie breathlessly asks where Noah got the money to afford such a place. Shrugging, Noah mumbles that he had some money saved up. Carrie gulps and promises to get back to him with an answer. Later, Barbara pressures Noah to do whatever it takes to get Carrie to move in with him. With the new house, he can keep Carrie pre-occupied and away from Will. Noah protests that what they're doing is wrong. She should learn from the mistake she made by bringing Darryl back to town; Carrie doesn't want Barbara interfering in her life. Leave the philosophy to her, Barbara snaps. All Noah has to do is get Carrie to move in and keep her away from Will.
Alison and Dusty both sit at Al's, waiting and hoping that their respective others come through the door any minute. Alison resentfully mumbles that this is all Dusty's fault. He apologizes profusely; he never meant for any of this to happen. It was just a drunken mistake that got out of hand. Their showdown is short-lived as Emily and Aaron come traipsing through the door. Aaron drags Emily to the table and mumbles that he doesn't want to be here either, but Alison and Dusty have a right to plead their case. Judging by the awkward silence, Alison can tell this is going to be a long shot where Emily is concerned. Desperately urging Emily to hear her out, Emily snatches her hand away. Dusty starts off, recalling how upset he was at learning that Emily had known all along about Lucinda and Clark, despite Lucinda's urgings that she didn't. To add to it, she published a story that he never intended for her to know and caued Lucinda and her family immeasureable anguish. So...he got drunk and lost judgement. He never meant to hurt anyone; it was just a kiss...and Alison stopped it. Emily isn't so moved by the explanation, but Aaron starts to see that Alison wasn't in the wrong.
Brad runs to Java for coffee and a muffin, and spots Mac sitting at a table reading a paper. Throwing his leg over the empty chair, Brad sits down uninvited, and proceeds to grill Mac about his life. Amused, Mac admits surprise that Brad wants to get to know him---he didn't seem like the friendly sort of guy. Brad tells him he's not...he doesn't like Mac spending time around his brother's family. "The family", or just Carly, Mac asks. Brad insinuates that he and Carly are more than friends, and that Mac shouldn't confuse Carly's empathy for the "new guy in town" with anything more personal. Mac laughs that Carly doesn't seem like the kind of woman needs help letting anyone know exactly what she feels.
Leaving Dusty and Emily to talk inside, Aaron apologizes to Alison for doubting her. On the other hand, he doesn't think he can ever trust Dusty again and heads inside to announce his and Alison's resignations from Donovan's. Back outside, the two seal their reconciliation with a kiss and head home. Inside, Emily grumbles that she never wants to see Dusty again and gives back the engagement ring. Later, Emily returns home and fills Susan in about what happened at Al's. Smiling, Susan recalls a time when Dusty couldn't trust Emily; she had him chained to a wall with a pistol pointed in his face. But in time, he forgave her and even fell in love with her. Fidgeting in her seat, Susan lectures Emily that she thinks that if Dusty had meant to be with Alison, he would have slept with her that night. Instead, he didn't. He knew what he did was deathly wrong and he apologized. Now, the cards are in Emily's hands.
Carly takes the afternoon off of work, walking into Milltown just as her answering machine picks up a call. Breathlessly, she picks up to find Jack on the other end. He jokes that he must really be having trouble with the time zones if she's home. Carly admits to blowing off work, and tells him the kids miss him. He tells her he misses them too. After an awkward silence, he tells her he'll have trouble keeping in touch--his client's decided to go to a ritzy retreat---absolutely no outside contact allowed. Carly promises to explain it to the kids--and jokingly reminds him to apply lots of sunscreen. Jack promises he will, and asks her to give everyone his love. Before Carly can assure him she will, the dial tone buzzes in her ear. As Jack closes his cell phone, he turns up his collar and steps onto a snow-covered street before disappearing into a crowd of people.